I am in love with this beaded heart, which is the creation of masterful beadist, Jan Huling.
Here’s more about the piece from Jan herself:
I was planning to bead a mannequin torso and was considering cutting a whole in his chest and inserting a beaded heart. I ended up doing the heart first and really fell in love with it and felt that it worked as a stand alone piece. The beads I used on it are different from my usual beads, they seemed to give the heart an old mosaic look. My husband sculpted that heart for me and cast it in plaster. The beading probably took about a week.
I encourage you to visit her Web site to see more of her amazing work.
Anne Wolf‘s denim hearts are incredible, to say the least. But they become moving sculptures when you learn about their story. Wolf says on her Web site:
This sculptural series began with the difficult experience of bringing my son into the world and my resulting preoccupation with his heartbeat. I began making hearts out of my old blue jeans, some of them saved since I was a teenager. This fabric that had held the wear of my everyday life for so long began, in my mind, to take on the quality of biological material—more like genes than jeans.
I asked her more about her choice of denim, and the process of creating these sculptures:
I believe that physical materials have a language of their own. My old blue jeans speak to me of skins, aging, biography and biology. As I began to cut, tear and stitch the denim, I felt a resonance with issues of the body, mortality, hope, strength, fragility.
Because I work with thick cotton threads, the needle can be difficult to push through the denim. I don’t try to make the process easy…there has to be some challenge, some transformation that takes place in the process through labor, time and mistakes.
You’ll also find denim brains in her series, of which she said,
I’ve learned that the brain, though it looks like a more simple form, is much more complex than the heart!
She said she’s promised her 6.5 year-old son to make the digestive system, although, “to be anatomically accurate, I need to cut and stitch 25 feet of small intestine!,” she said in an e-mail.
I can’t wait to see more of her denim anatomical sculptures. There’s something real and flesh-like about them. Visit her Web site or this magazine piece to see more of her wonderful work.
[Photos used with permission from the artist. Photos by Sibila Savage.]
I’m counting down the days to the European Society of Cardiology‘s annual meeting. The high-energy conference unveils lots of new and exciting research, not to mention that it’s taking place in Amsterdam.
I was paging through the program the other day, and couldn’t help by notice the charming hearts sprinkled throughout the program book. There’s something cheerful about them, don’t you think?
Last week, the New York Times ran an insightful piece by a Harvard medical student about organ transplantation, with a wonderful illustration by Jonathon Rosen.
I asked Jonathon why he used the heart as the centerpiece of his illustration, and he said that he found the heart more aesthetic for the subject and title. If you read the piece, you’ll find that the bottom three blocks also capture the article’s message beautifully.
This post may not be so cheery, but it’s about pure, everlasting love. I came across this beautiful letter on one of my favorite blogs, Letters of Note. Novelist Raymond Chandler wrote it to his friend after his wife of 30 years had died.
Your letter of December 15th has just reached me, the mails being what they are around Christmas time. I have received much sympathy and kindness and many letters, but yours is somehow unique in that it speaks of the beauty that is lost rather than condoling with the comparatively useless life that continues on. She was everything you say, and more. She was the beat of my heart for thirty years. She was the music heard faintly at the edge of sound. It was my great and now useless regret that I never wrote anything really worth her attention, no book that I could dedicate to her. Continue reading…
Hope you will have a wonderful week filled with love.
I wrote about Lisa Nilsson‘s beautiful work a few months ago. Back then, she told me she was working on a larger torso with a more prominent heart, and here it is:
It’s so intricate and beautiful! Every time I look at it, I discover a new detail.
When I wrote up the original post, I did some research and learned a few things about the ancient art of quilling. I just received my mini starter kit. Now, it’s a matter of finding time to play with it. I’m sure I will appreciate the complexity of Lisa’s work so much more once those tiny pieces of paper begin to disobey me.
Between his New York and Los Angeles art studios, Nathan Sawaya has more than 2.5 million colored bricks, he says on his Web site. And he buys his bricks just like everyone else – no special orders from LEGO®. But what he creates with them is extraordinary. His Web site, brickartist.com, is a LEGO wonderland.
Mr. Sawaya’s assistant wrote me that he built the anatomical Heart you see above for the cardiology department at a hospital in San Diego. For guidance, he bought a teaching heart model. To me, the bricks somehow represent our cells: they’re both building blocks.
Mr. Sawaya’s exhibit, The Art of the Brick®, is now touring North America, Asia, and Australia, and they’re “the first major museum exhibitions to focus exclusively on the use of the popular toy, LEGO® bricks, as an art medium,” according to his Web site.
I think you’ll enjoy clicking around on the site, and maybe you’ll get a chance to visit one of his shows. If you click on the slideshow on the site’s frontpage, you’ll find a photo of him where even his cufflinks look like they’re made of bricks.
[Photos used with permission from the artist.] [Spotted it here.]
Fine artist Angela Willetts has a series of beautiful, soft, ink paintings on Etsy, which you can buy at a very reasonable price.
This painting is called Heart, and she write on Etsy,
This piece is from my “Occupied” series which explores the body as a tool for experiencing both connection with and isolation from the world.
When it comes to her work, she says on her Web site,
I enjoy the challenge of working with marks over which I have very little control, then building order into and around them; much as I create meaning and structure around those things I can’t understand or control in life. I also enjoy watching my mind struggle with the dual impulses to invoke chaos and insist on order.
Visit her Etsy shop, The Ink Pot, or her Web site to see more of her work.
I absolutely love her pieces and can get lost in the details, trying to follow the lines and patterns.
I came across these two delicate hand-blown pieces by Kiva Ford, on Etsy. He does so much more, and every piece is fascinating, delicate and beautiful!
You can watch this Etsy video to learn more about him and see more of his work. My favorite quote from the video: “Focus on one skill and get good at what you do.” His work and passion is definitely inspiring.
I’ve been looking for heart-shaped furniture, and finally found one. In the New York Time’s T Magazine.
Vitra.com, where you can buy the Heart Cone Chair for a handsome price, describes it like this:
The Heart Cone Chair takes its name from its heart-shaped silhouette. The extended wings of the backrest are reminiscent of Mickey Mouse ears, but can also be interpreted as a contemporary development of the classic wingback chair.
If I were to decorate a cardiologist’s office, this would be one of the first pieces I’d put in the waiting room.
I bumped into this awesome portrait in the mall, on the directory stand.
The portrait is part of an ad campaign by the international group Save the Children. The campaign is called Every Beat Matters, where a group of frontline health workers traveled the world and recorded the sound of children’s heartbeats. Then, using the EKGs, they created portraits like the one above, which is that of frontline health worker, Domingo Lux. If you visit the Web site, you can click on each line and see a child’s face and hear his or her heartbeat. It’s quite an experience!
Using the beats, the organization also created an original song with the band OneRepublic. You can also turn your Facebook profile picture into a heartbeat portrait. Or have the heartbeat going on Twitter.
Anyway, as a journalist, I’m not endorsing or promoting the campaign – I feel like I have to say that. But, I think the idea behind it, and especially the portraits, are awesome!
Michele Banks, a D.C.-based painter and collage artists, creates beautiful and detailed water color pieces, magnifying life that’s mostly invisible to the naked eye.
Most pieces have a story behind them, and I encourage you to read them by clicking on the images, and visiting her Etsy shop.
Banks, who has named her Etsy shop Artologica, is not a scientist, but has a fascination with the living world, especially at the microscopic level. She shared this with Heart Interpretations:
I think the main thread that connects all my work is the idea of what it means to be alive. Obviously, this draws me toward things like the brain and the heart, but also toward slightly less obvious concepts, like the fact that each of us is a home for thousands of viruses and bacteria. That idea may make some people squirm, but I find it fascinating.
There’s something calming and luminous about this embroidered anatomical heart, created by Rachel Harmeyer. I’ll let you read about it in her own words:
I’ve always been fascinated with the heart as a visual and literary symbol as well as a subject for research.
My background is in fine art and art history, but I did take classes in scientific illustration and anatomy when I was an undergraduate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and I’ve been obsessed with antique anatomy books ever since.
I’ve been embroidering medical illustrations, especially those of the heart, for several years now.
I think a lot of what my work is about is the sense of wonder I felt, as a child, when I first looked at medical illustrations of the interior of the human body in my family’s old encyclopedias. I remember the luminous colors, the awe of seeing the internal become external.
In my anatomical works, I hope to recreate that experience for others.
You can see more of Rachel’s work here. You can also buy a lovely tea towel with an embroidered heart here.
Lisa Nilsson‘s beautiful and intricate anatomical cross-sections have been featured on quite a few art blogs lately. And as you can see, it’s for a good reason.
Lisa uses an ancient technique called quilling or paper filigree, which involves rolling and shaping narrow strips of paper. She says on her Web site that the pieces are made of Japanese mulberry paper and the gilded edges of old books.
Let’s start with her life-size cross section of the chest, called Thorax. You can see the heart in the middle, surrounded by the lungs.
She also has two torso pieces, one male and one female. But as you can see below, the heart is depicted differently in them. So we had to ask her: why the difference?
Good question…. The female image is the first one I made and is the most accurate. The “Male Torso” is the only piece I’ve made where I took such large artistic liberties with my source (the color is invented and I stylized the texture of the lungs as well as the structures in the mediastinum).
At the time I was experimenting with using a more subjective and stylized interpretation of anatomy in my work…. but quite quickly returned to sticking with a more accurate approach.
I have looked at coronal sections of the chest area that fall outside (more toward the front or back of the body) of the midline and, coincidentally they look somewhat similar to what I invented.
On this Valentine’s Day, I came across a couple of interesting posts about the origin of the heart symbole. Really, where did it come from?
According to Slate, no one really knows. It could be inspired by a North African plant, or a vision by a Catholic Saint. (Here’s one religious drawing using the anatomical heart.)
On his witty blog, It’s OKAY to be SMART, Joe Hanson has a cool drawing of Aristotle’s anatomically incorrect heart, which makes it look a little like the heart symbole. Maybe that’s where the symbole came from.
Hanson points out that Aristotle popularized the idea that the heart is the seat of emotions and passion. Maybe a symbole eventually caught on, because I’d imagine people don’t want to draw an actual organ to express their love.
And here’s a wikipedia post, where you can learn how to create a heart symbole with keyboard shortcuts.
But no matter which heart shape your prefer, I hope yours is always filled with love ♥
This is heart transplant patient, Peggy Smith. I cannot even fathom what it must be like to hold this part of you in your hands – but here she is. Her photo has gotten more than 500,000 hits. You can read her story on New York Daily News.
While searching the photo-sharing site Imgur, I also found the photo of this young man with his heart. A cardiac surgeon commented on this photo on Reddit a few months ago. His photo has gotten more than a million hits.
There’s some cool research going on at The University of Manchester’s School of Physics and Astronomy. MedGadget reports that the scientists there are using 3D modeling of a sheep’s heart to better understand atrial fibrillation, which is the most common type of arrhythmia. You can read more here.
One of my earliest memories as a child was the way death and religion played an important role in my family’s life. My parents were born in Mexico with traditional beliefs, and their beliefs made their way into my subconscious. The fact that many of those beliefs seemed to render no logical explanation has also influenced me. These unanswered questions find a home in my work, which evokes the mystery, fear and irony of those vivid memories of my past. I do not claim to understand these questions. I just paint and let them reveal themselves to me.
Visit Daniel’s Web site or Facebook page, where you find more of his beautiful work, and also his upcoming book, Soul of Science.
[Photos used with permission from the artist.]; [First saw it here.]
There are quite a few sellers on Etsy that use vintage dictionary book for prints. The print above is from Etsy shop owner Nommon, who has some nice anatomical or love-themed prints. And they’re rather cheap. I think with a nice frame, they’ll make great wall art for any room.
Artist Danny Quirk does a beautiful job of giving us a peak at what’s inside through his realistic paintings on canvas or on the body.
He combines “classic poses, in dramatic chiaroscuro lighting, with a very contemporary twist… illustrating what’s underneath the skin, and the portrayed figure dissects a region of their body to show the structures that lay beneath,” he says in his profile.
This piece is a self portrait and it was inspired after a breakup, Quirk told Heart Interpretations.
I’m ‘empty on the inside, yet putting my heart out’. It’s the only one of the series that was made with any real emotional backing, but it’s definitely a favorite of the pieces made.
You can purchase a signed copy of this piece on Etsy. You can also check out more of his work on his blog.
[Photo used with permission from the artist.]; [First spotted it here.]